Evaluating the Vikings 2020 offseason gambles at the bye
By Nik Edlund
Not upgrading at guard
The biggest gamble and one that made about as much sense as betting on a one-legged horse, was the Vikings treatment of their guard position this offseason. First of all, they cut their best player in Josh Kline. They didn’t sign a veteran in free agency to fill that void, and the biggest sin of all was not drafting a starting-caliber guard with one of their fifteen draft choices.
This team rolled the dice that they’d be able to get by with Dakota Dozier and Pat Elflein as the starting guards and they couldn’t have been more wrong. The guard position has been a total mess this season and is easily the weakest component of a not so great offensive line. Pat Elflein struggled badly at right guard early in the season and then was replaced by Dru Samia. Samia did the unthinkable and proved to be even worse than Elfelin. The Vikings are now down to their third option which is rookie Ezra Cleveland. Cleveland is going to be the team’s left tackle of the future but has been moved to guard due to sheer need. He played alright in his debut and maybe will be able to hold that spot down the rest of the season.
The Minnesota Vikings had plenty of chances to draft or sign a guard who would at least perform at an average level. They took the chance that they could get by with sub-quality starters and that choice has badly backfired.